At first, “interior design trends” can feel like an oxymoronic term. Decor doesn’t tend to undergo seasonal changes or flash-in-the-pan fads—furniture, textiles, art, and wall coverings are too cumbersome, too expensive, too enduring to update frequently. When you design a room, as the saying goes, you need to learn to live with it. For a long time.
Yet the pendulum does swing, albeit over years and decades: 1970s shag-carpeted bohemianism gives way to 1980s glitzy excess, which gives way to 1990s palate-cleansing minimalism. So, as we enter 2023—and finding interior solutions that are kind to both our sanity and the planet feels more important than ever—a sense of permanence is key to understanding which way the 2020s are headed. What will feel timeless or au courant for several years to come, and what is on its way to feeling dated?
For starters: earth tones—which, due thanks to their calming effects and associations with nature, increased in popularity during the pandemic years—still rule three years in. Shades of brown continue their decor dominance, while romantic mauve, Kathryn M. Ireland and Jake Arnold predict, is the color of the year to come. Meanwhile, multiple interior designers are opting for silver accents over gold or bronze. “Its captivating shine and texture lend an everyday sophistication to any space,” says Athena Calderone.
Certain design hallmarks from periods past are also making a return: after the dominance of the laid-back mid-century modern in the aughts and teens, for example, formal accents are now making a comeback. (As Robert D. McKinley surmises, we’re all craving a little more sophistication after spending all that COVID-era time in sweatpants.) A little more controversially, perhaps, brutalism is back in too. Concrete floors anyone?
Earth Tones–Especially Browns and Pinks
“Mauve, peach, corals—I’m loving shades of pink right now. It feels feminine and a softer way to incorporate color.” -Jake Arnold
“Pink and mauve are next year’s colors.”-Kathryn M. Ireland
“I’m loving everything brown, and this year we’ll be seeing the use of creamier, warmer whites, and earth tones of taupe—and all shades of brown.” -Sarah Solis
“We recently took a deep dive into Darwin and the history of color at London’s Natural History Museum and fell in love with bird feathers and minerals in these warm, earthy shades of rust and caramel. These are the colors we’re loving for 2023.” -Robin Standefer, Roman and Williams
“Earth tones continue to dominate as we all recover from years of all-gray-everything PTSD. Earthy browns were my prediction last year, and that continues. But now red is coming back in spades. From rich oxblood to earthy terracotta red, these nature-inspired hues will continue to dominate design.” -Danielle Colding
“The comeback of neoclassicism, with its focus on highly detailed and symmetrical lines, is a natural progression after the popularity of mid-century modern. The decor blends easily with other periods and styles, and focuses on elegance and sophistication, without being a conspicuous display of wealth.” -Timothy Corrigan
“I think after the pandemic and all its casual practicality there is a desire for formality and luxury.” -Robert D. McKinley, Studio Robert McKinley
“Mosaic and terrazzo are trending strong instead of the full, book-matched slabs of marble that became ubiquitous in kitchens and baths during recent years.” -Timothy Corrigan
Paper and Fabric Lighting
“I am seeing a resurgence in lighting made from paper, fabric, or silk with a soft, ambient glow.” -Athena Calderone
“Iron details inspired by Giacometti are in. We have and will continue to see iron details on furniture like side tables, coffee tables, consoles, and benches. It will make a more prominent appearance in 2023 within decor—think candlesticks, mirrors, decorative bowls, et cetera.” -Jake Arnold
“I’m feeling less excitement around materials like natural brass and more interest for polished aluminum, stainless steel, and nickel.” -Robert D. McKinley
“Bronze, gold, and copper have long been the design industry’s metal of choice and while their timeless allure will always be in favor, a new hue has galvanized our gaze: slick and polished silver. Its captivating shine and texture lend an everyday sophistication to any space.” -Athena Calderone, EyeSwoon
“Concrete floors will be returning in 2023. I am seeing all sorts of techniques when it comes to living with concrete, from raw to polished, and most recently I’ve become intrigued by a technique called microtopping.” -Colin King
“Brutalist design is going to be a big trend in the next year. It is characterized by the use of raw, unfinished concrete as a building material, as well as a focus on functionality and the use of industrial materials. Concrete is making a big come back as a decorative element for interiors. I attribute the comeback to a general request for clean and calming spaces. Compared to the past, the new brutalist style results in a softer approach that incorporates natural elements like wood, stones, plants, and sustainable materials resulting in a warmer and more welcoming aesthetic.” -Giampiero Tagliaferri, Studio Tagliaferri
“This year, I believe that the design world will embrace the dream world. Themes of surrealism will be expressed alongside themes that explore sacred geometry. Those concepts will show up with designers playing with scale (think oversized club chairs alongside tiny cocktail tables), and unexpected, nonsensical, and trippy accents, like bathtubs with human feet or lamps that feel like clouds, as well as trompe l'oeil details.” -Justina Blakeney, Jungalow
“Textured and three-dimensional tiles will be everywhere in 2023. From floors and backsplashes, to shower stalls, fireplaces, and even entire walls, tactile tiles give any surface that organic, handcrafted feel while still holding very subtle contrasts and variations.” -Colin King
“We’ve seen a lot of the Mario Bellini Camaleonda sofa, and while I have used it and loved it, it's possible we have seen too much.” -Jake Arnold
“Overlayered beds with multiple throw pillows and layers of blankets is a trend that is quickly going out of style. I love a thoughtful, minimal use of pillows and a bed beautifully draped for an elegant effortless sanctuary. Lush textural materiality is so much more interesting and sensual than a bed prohibited from being overly dressed. In any space, throw pillows should be minimal, selective, and artful—less is more!” -Sarah Solis
“A trend that’s out is colored stoves.” -Mark D. Sikes
The Modern Farmhouse Aesthetic
“Modern farmhouse architecture and design had its moment and now feels very dated.” -Timothy Corrigan
“Fast furniture now leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. The poor quality that makes the piece obsolete in months has led to record levels of furniture left on streets.” -Timothy Corrigan
“In the fight against fast furniture and the disposable, it’s never been more important to buy things that are meant to last.”- Robin Standefer
“We are all pivoting to be more environmentally conscious and thinking things through. Impulse buying is out unless it’s the flea market.” -Kathryn M. Ireland
Gold and Bronze Hardware
“For years on end, everything has been so focused on brass and gold so I'm excited to switch it up—out with the unlacquered brass hardware.” -Athena Calderone
“Shelfies. I always abide by less is more. Show us your art rather than clutter on shelves.” -Sarah Solis